CHARLESTON – Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority and Metro Emergency Operations Center have been ordered to pay a total of $1.4 million for the death of a 15-year-old who collapsed after playing basketball.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman approved a settlement in which KCEAA will pay $960,000 and Metro will pay $500,000.
On May 24, 2014, Leland Brown Jr. was playing basketball with his friends near his mother's house in St. Albans when he came inside the house, informed his mother that his chest hurt and collapsed, according to the complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court in 2015.
Leland Brown Jr.’s mother called 911 was called at 1:08 p.m. and symptoms of a cardiac arrest were reported to the dispatcher.
Metro is responsible for dispatching emergency services in Kanawha County, however, Metro did not dispatch personnel, which were less than one mile away, to help Leland Brown Jr., who was in cardiac arrest, according to the suit.
The response time for EMS is supposed to be between four and six minutes and no more than eight minutes. After the eight-minute time period had passed, a Metro employee radioed a dispatcher at KCEAA, who called several of the ambulance crews at a funeral for a former Kanawha County Commissioner in Dunbar on their cell phones, according to the suit.
The defendants' policies require there to be an ambulance in each of the 13 stations in Kanawha County, however, none of the ambulances from the St. Albans or Nitro stations made it on scene to treat or transport Leland Brown Jr. They were at the funeral for a former ambulance authority board member, Joe Beavers.
The first ambulance didn’t show up until 19 minutes later and, according to the suit, the defendants failed to do basic checks for glucose, lactic acid and other things and their treatment was inadequate.
The defendants failed to administer amiodarone or lidocaine and Leland Brown Jr. was not intubated until 1:39 p.m., however, 20 minutes later, the tube dislodged, according to the suit.
The defendants did not begin transport to the hospital until 2 p.m. and went the wrong way on Coal River Road, got lost and had to turn around to go toward Thomas Memorial Hospital.
Leland Brown Jr. was pronounced dead at 2:45 p.m. and, following his death, KCEAA did an analysis of his treatment and, as a result of the analysis, one of the employees who provided treatment was removed from his post and re-trained in a variety of matters, according to the suit.
Leland Brown Sr. was represented by Robert M. Bastress III of DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley & Simmons PLLC.
The defendants were represented by John MacCorkle, Carrie Dysart and Johnnie E Brown.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-1013